Nick Guenzler

February 20, 2009

By Coty Gonzales

Nick Guenzler is a 22 year old graduate of The Art Institute of California who lives and works in Riverside, California. He is known for his fun art and personality, which makes sense since he is known in the design world as Fun For All Kids.

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CG: You were a student at The Art Institute of California (Orange County) and have an Associates of Science in Graphic Design. What was that experience like?

NG: It was a pretty insane couple of years. I don’t think I’ve worked so hard and slept so little. When I started school I kind of had the mentality that I already knew everything and it would be a breeze. So about 2 months into it I started to realize I really didn’t know shit. I pretty much made myself re-learn everything to get out of bad habits. Once I did that I noticed a huge improvement in the quality of my work. I also had some really great instructors there that helped push me to become a better designer. I went through some pretty brutal critiques there. I had an instructor there who would make students cry and tell them not to bother coming back. It makes you strive to be better. It might sound harsh but going to school was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself. Hopefully this doesn’t come off as sounding like one of those lame ITT Tech. commercials.

CG: How would you describe your artistic style?

NG: I’d say it lies somewhere between lowbrow and commercial art. Kind of like the step in between Mickey Mouse and the Rat Fink.

CG: Despite your recent feature on TeeFury, you currently don’t have any designs available for sale at your online store. What is that all about and when can we expect some new stuff?

NG: I’m current working on some things. In the next couple of months I am going to be releasing some limited edition prints, shirts, and also a paper toy which will be available for free (all you’ll have to do is print it out).

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CG: What are some of the frustrations of being a freelance designer? What have been some of the highlights?

NG: One of the most frustrating things about freelancing is probably the constant waiting. I always seem to find myself waiting on approvals, email responses, and payments. It can be hard and sometimes annoying but it comes with the territory. Freelance is fun though, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some awesome bands and companies. You get to meet some cool folks. It’s also nice not having to sit in traffic every day.

CG: You show off some of your identity, print and apparel work in your online portfolio. Which is the most difficult to do and which do you prefer to do amongst the three?

NG: They can all be difficult at one point or another. Print and identity design are typically more labor intensive than apparel. If I do too much of one thing I get burned out on it. If I’ve been working on nothing but tee designs it’s refreshing to work on something like a logo and vice versa. So to answer the question I’d say I prefer to all three at once, variety is always nice.

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CG: Who are
some of the artists that inspire you?

NG: Jeff Soto has been a big inspiration to me. We’re from around the same neck of the woods so I can relate to the subject matter of his art. I had the privilege of meeting him recently and he is a super nice guy. Maxx Gramajo (Maxx242) is also local guy who inspired me very early on, he’s probably the single reason I’m in the field I am in. He was the art director over at Famous Stars and Straps. When I was younger I used to talk to Maxx through email and aim. He was always super cool to me and would give me pointers and answer questions, he’s a solid dude. I should email him one of these days… Another designer who has been a big inspiration to me is John Hench. You’ve probably never heard of him but he was an ‘imagineer’ for Disney. He did a lot of this really great concept art for Disneyland through the 60’s and 70’s. His work has this really sketchy atomic age feel to it, which I found to be very intriguing.

CG: Many of your designs feature some crazy and outrageous monsters.If you were to become a monster, what would some of your monster characteristics be?

NG: That’s a tough one… I think I would look something like a mix between an Easter bunny and an. The Easter bunny always freaked me out as a kid. I think it might have something to do with Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. I also always used to have this reoccurring dream that I would get attacked by a giant one-eyed octopus in my swimming pool. I’ve always thought it would be cool to combine both of those things into one super monster. I could face my childhood nightmares by becoming them. I’d also probably be the only herbivorous monster out there. I guess I could just eat other monsters or is cannibalism in the monster community frowned upon?

Check out Nick Guenzler’s portfolio.